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Community mining scheme won't stop after elections — Minister

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh

The government has assured residents of mining communities that the community mining scheme (CMS) will not be stopped after the 2020 general election.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, said the scheme had been established in line with the country's mining laws, and meant to fight illegal mining and create sustainable livelihoods, when he responded to concerns by some youth at Akrokerri in the Adansi North District in the Ashanti Region during the launch of the latest CMS.

Some 82 concessions designated for the CMS in Adansi South, Adansi Asokwa, Adansi North and Akrofrom districts were launched at the event.

The Adansi South CMS had 55 concessions located at Obunsu, Adansi Asokwa had 10 concessions at Fumso, Adansi North had two at Akrokerri, while Akrofrom had 15 concessions at Adamso-Aplapo.

Compliance

Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said the launch of the CMS had given legitimacy to the residents to participate in small-scale mining.

He, however, cautioned against practices that would flout the mining laws.

"The law does not allow anyone to mine close to water bodies, so we are urging you to be careful not to destroy that resource," he said.

Mr Asomah-Cheremeh also said the officials of the Minerals Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the District Oversight Committees would step up the monitoring regimes to ensure that the CMS was done in accordance with laid down processes.

A deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Mr Martin Ayisi, also urged the residents to respect the mining laws since they risked the revocation of their licences if they went contrary to the rules of engagement.

Background

The CMS, which is being implemented by the Minerals Commission, is a small-scale mining operation in line with Sections 81-99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).

It is an initiative by the government to promote local participation in small scale mining as a measure to fight illegal mining, commonly called galamsey in local parlance.

The CMS is governed by a code of practice as stated in Regulations 475 and 515 of the Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182).